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Music Lover's Manifesto
How much do you really love music? Are you willing to sign the following manifesto?
- [Assumed Beautiful] I will not pass judgment on the beauty of any music until I have actually heard it.
- [Many Forms] I realize that beauty in music can take on many forms. I will not assume that any form or style of music is not beautiful until I have actually heard it. I will be especially careful to not judge music merely based on its:
- Choice of instruments or voices
- Use of electronics
- Use of everyday sounds
- Use of randomness or improvisation
- [Performance Considerations] I will admit that the beauty of a work of music is inseparable from its performance. I will be open to the fact that other interpretations of a work can be more or less beautiful.
- [Many Parts] I will try, to the best of my ability, to listen to all parts of a work of music, both horizontal (time) and vertical (space, frequency, timbre, and texture). I will do my best to not let parts that I dislike affect my enjoyment of other parts that I may like.
- [Non-Musical Concerns] I will try to not let any of the following affect my ability to listen for beauty in music:
- The methods which were used to create the music -- no matter how arbitrary, random, or trivial they may seem
- The stated intentions of the composer
- The program notes, CD case, or other non-musical packaging of the work
- The quantity of effort invested into the composition by the composer, no matter how little or how much
- Any a priori classifications of the music, such as "Pop", "Classical", "Serious", "Modern", "Hip Hop", etc.
- [One's Ability to Hear] I will realize that my ability to appreciate a work of music is not fixed, and that my ability to hear beauty in all kinds of music can (and should) be continuously improved over time. This means:
- That music which I do not find to be beautiful today, I may find to be beautiful tomorrow (and vice versa)
- That some music may become more beautiful if I carefully listen to it multiple times
- That some music may become more beautiful if I study it
- [Personal Participation] I realize that some music may require my active participation before it becomes beautiful to me. This can mean:
- Performance by me.
- Use of my imagination while listening, either:
- to imagine a scene, program, story, or other extra-musical item, or
- to listen for connections in the music (either in time or space) which may or may not have been explicitly determined by the composer ahead of time.
- Traveling to hear the music in a particular environment, such as a concert hall, dance club, natural setting, stadium, or art installation.
Sign Here: ___________________________________ Date: ______________
Beauty in the context of this manifesto can mean any music which:
- Delights the senses
- Powerfully evokes emotions
- Engages the mind on any level, including intellectually
- Inspires wonder
- Excites the imagination